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The Cycling World’s Most Powerful People | GCN’s Power List

(electronic music) – Who are the most influential
people within cycling? Figures from the industry,
racers, designers? This is GCN’s power list. The head of the UCI will
always be influential, as is the nature of being
the sports governing body. Like his predecessors, David
Lappartient is outspoken on his beliefs of change within
cycling but has already instigated change where
others have failed. Altering the world to a point structure, implementing a regulation
in promotion initiative, and changing the wildcard
system to merit-based. So from 2019, the two pro
teams with the most points in the UCI pro series, also
introduced by Lappartient, will be invited to the Grand Tours. Making changes alongside
the UCI is Iris Slappendel, Executive Director at
the Cyclist’s Alliance, working alongside Carmen
Small and Gracie Elvin. Seeking equality amongst
women’s and men’s cycling, the Cyclist’s Alliance
has been instrumental in forcing major changes to
women’s cycling ahead of 2020. Including maternity leave and
a 15,000 euro minimum salary in the World Tour with Slappendel the driving force behind each. Away from racing now to an industry figure that many would have never heard of, Peter Denk of Denk Engineering. If you’ve got a carbon fiber bike, it’s almost definitely been
built using his methods. In 2002 Denk invented
tube to tube technology making the use of lugs redundant. The process was used in making the revolutionary Scott CR one, the first road frame to
weigh less than one kilogram. The process remains the industry standard for frame production. Denk invented the internal
molding process then in 2004, a method for producing
several tubes at once while optimizing carbon fiber layup. As of 2014, he has worked
exclusively for specialized and estimates around 90%
of the world’s bike frames are manufactured using his technology. Responsible of organizing
the Giro d’Italia, Milano Sanremo and Il Lombardia,
RCS are an organization with immense influence for shaping some of professional cycling’s
most iconic races. It’s hard to know which of their
key stakeholders to choose, race director Mauro
Vegni, CEO Paolo Bellino, or owner, Urbano Cairo. What makes their appearance
noteworthy upon this list is Strade Bianche, the only
truly successful modern race. Driving the sport’s new
found love of gravel roads, aided by the astonishing
beauty of the rolling Tuscan terrain, trailing
a route to and from the world heritage site of Siena. For vision and innovation, RCS
are worthy of a place here. Now, on to the most divisive person on our list, Lance Armstrong. How can someone banned from
just about every cycling event be influential? Well the fact is that the
Armstrong effect will be felt for a long time to come. His success at the tour arguably did more to get people riding than
any other rider in history. And despite his fall from
grace, his name continues to draw more interest
than most current racers. Not to mention his media activity. Love him or loath him, Lance
is still an influential guy. Another contentious inclusion,
although unlike Armstrong, let’s stress not because he
has actually broken any rules, is that of Sir Dave Brailsford. He has exerted influence on results sheets for over a decade but his
concept, marginal gains, has influenced professional
cycling far more widely. So far and wide in fact,
have marginal gains extended, that they are also a subject of parody. But the amount of people who have followed speak for themselves. Another engineer now, Gerard Vroomen. At Cervelo, along with
former partner Phil White, he created the first true aero road bike The Cervelo Soloist. Launched in 2002, the Soloist featured aerofoil-shaped tubes. Before this, aerotubes were
made by flattening round tubes into shapes which looked aerodynamic. Cervelo led the way in
realizing the importance of cable routing for aerodynamics, producing their S-series bikes
with internal cable routing. Having left Cervelo, he
went on to create the deeply influential OPEN U.P. gravel
bike and then with 3T, he created the first aero
gravel bike the Exploro. As was the polarizing 3T
Strada, a one-buy drive train and optimized aerodynamics
with 28ml tires. Next we have the founder and
CEO of Rapha, Simon Mottram. Since founding the brand in 2004, Mottram has not simply
contributed to cycling style, but established a new identity for cyclists both on the bike and off it. Changing the way cyclists
look while riding has been a significant influence. Elevating prices by creating
a luxury cycling brand is also another. But arguably the biggest
has been in creating the first cycling apparel
brand that gave bike riders something to wear proudly
when they weren’t riding but that still shows their
allegiance to the sport. Our next pick is Will
Kernan, CEO of Wiggle CRC. Kernan joined Wiggle
during their acquisition of chain reaction cycles in late 2016. Unquestionably, the largest
cycling specific retailer in the world, even before
purchasing Chain Reaction cycles who were the second biggest. Now Kernan has led Wiggle CRC
to further major acquisitions, buying Bike 24 for example in October 2017 in a deal that was reportedly
worth 100 million pounds. Nowadays, Wiggle CRC sales are estimated to be half a billion GB pounds per year, and as such exerting a
significant influence on the operation of the
entire bike industry. (relaxed electronic music) John Burke is CEO of Trek
bicycles and makes our list for a number of reasons. Though first, his Trek sales numbers. In 2016 Trek revenue
exceeded 1 billion dollars, making them one of the
largest cycling companies in the world. Most importantly for cyclists though, are Burkes values-led
approach to business, which permeate every aspect of Trek. Investing in rider safety with their flare daytime riding lights, collaborating with Tome and
Ford on driverless technology, streaming cyclocross races to US fans, and even promoting their
own World Cup Cross race. Next up, one of the biggest
names in bicycle componentry, Stan Day, the founder,
CEO, and chairman of SRAM. Their revenue in 2017 of
approximately 725 million dollars dwarfed Campagnolo’s
estimated 100 million dollars, and implies the American
firm is firmly established as a bike industry big player. Leading the way with wireless technology, one-buy, and road discs. Day states in fact that
innovation has been crucial in their rapid growth. In 2016 alone SRAM was awarded
no less than 16 patents. Don’t forget as well that
SRAM also owns the likes of Zip, Rockshox, and Quarq. Peter Sagan, how could we not? Sagan is not here due to
his success on the bike, he makes our list for
sheer marketing power. No other cyclist comes close
to reaching Sagan’s star power, and his ability to harness
it for his sponsors. Across his social media platforms, Sagan has 3.3 million followers
and research by Cycling Tips this year proves he
stands alone when it comes to monetizing those followers. So between January the 1st
2017 and January the 31st 2018, Sagan generated six and a half
million dollars in exposure, for key sponsor Specialized and
eyewear company 100 Percent. A genuine social media influencer. Another American CEO is Mike Sinyard, founder of Specialized. As we recently discovered,
Specialized are by far the most successful bike brand
in men’s professional cycling taking over a quarter of the
points on offer in our system, with huge investment at
the top level of the sport, both in men’s and women’s racing. According to reports,
their revenue is about half that of Trek, arguably Sinyard’s
inclusion ahead of Burke’s is a legacy from the heady
days of mountain biking. Sinyard was credited with mass producing the first ever mountain
bike, and it’s a position of influence he’s not relinquished since. Another bike brand CEO
now, included for leading wholesale change in the way
that bikes are being sold. Roman Arnold, founder and owner of Canyon. In terms of revenue, Canyon are not as big as Specialized or Trek, reportedly
turning over 180 million dollars last year. However, since 2002,
Arnold has sold exclusively through a direct consumer model. Selling direct allowed
Canyon to offer bikes at lower prices than their competitors and recent expansion into the US has extended that influence further, resulting in more manufacturers
including direct-to sales within their models as an attempt to challenge Canyon’s rise. It’s hard to know who to pick at the ASO. The Amaury Sports Organization runs many of cycling’s most iconic events. La Vuelta a Espana, Paris-Roubaix, and Le Tour de France for example, although the list goes on and on. No single organization
has a greater influence over the sport of cycling. But who is the key influencer there? Is it Christian Prudhomme, race director at the Tour de France? Is it Jean-Etienne Amaury, the president? No, we think it’s Yann Le Moenner, CEO who drives a great deal of influence at the top of the sport. More than the teams, more than the UCI. Arguably, it comes from
the might of Le Tour. For example, team AG2R
La Mondiale estimated that Roman Bardet finishing third overall generated 55 million
dollars worth of exposure. Le Moenner’s ambition is to
further globalize cycling, his influence already felt with ASO races in Norway, China, Oman, and Yorkshire. In second place is Bonnie Tu. Chair person and CFO of the
biggest bicycle manufacturer in the world, Giant Bicycles. A behemoth in the world
of cycling and beyond, in 2017 Giant sold 6.6 million bicycles, bringing in 1.9 billion
dollars of revenue. By virtue of size, Giant hold a great deal of influence in the world of cycling, though that is not why
Bonnie Tu features here. Not only the chair person of Giant but also founder of Liv cycling, the first brand to offer a complete range designed specifically for women. An undisputed leader in pushing the growth of women’s cycling, Tu
holds an immense influence as to its development. Top spot is handed to the president of the biggest cycling company
in the world, Yozo Shimano. In charge since 2001, his
presidency has overseen major innovations within the company, with the invention of
electronic group sets perhaps the greatest,
although E-bikes perhaps running that close. When we talk about the three
big group set manufacturers in terms of their size
and their market power, Shimano is head and
shoulders above the rest. Reportedly, 90% of all bikes are sold with Shimano components. In 2017, Shimano net revenue
was 2.93 billion dollars. The simple fact of the matter is, if you go into any bike shop, or if you just look at
any bike on the street, the overwhelming majority of the time that bike will be fitted
with a Shimano group set. And you can’t really get
more influential than that in the world of cycling. Well I hope you’ve enjoyed our look at the most influential people in cycling. I’m sure there are a number
of people on our list that you don’t think are influential, and a load of really influential people that we’ve left off. It won’t have escaped your notice also that there are only 2 women on this list, which is a real shame. But let’s keep driving for change. We would love to hear who you
think should be on our list. You can do so by leaving your comments in the section just below this video. And let us know why you
think they should be on there as well.

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